I’m not exactly sure if I stole Daniel P. Mannix’s immortal classic We Who Are Not as Others or if it was in a box of free books. I was in the eighth grade; it was the tail-end of a class trip to colonial Williamsburg, and I guess we had some time to kill, because they (they being the adults in charge) took us to a huge outdoor flea market. This was 1991 and Spike Lee’s Malcolm X had initiated a fad of wearing ball caps with a large solitary X emblazoned upon said cap. Some jokers at the flea market were selling hats emblazoned with a large solitary O, which the nimrod jocks in our class really thought was funny. They all bought the O hats; the counter-fad lasted about a fortnight after the Virginia trip. My love for We Who Are Not as Others, however, is immortal. My friend Tilford was rooting through a box of books: he claimed that the books were all free, although there was really nothing to indicate this. The mercenary setting of the flea market I now recall doesn’t seem to support Tilford’s assessment of the box. Nevertheless, we each wound up with a copy of We Who Are Not as Others. I read this book every year at some point. I implore you to read the back cover:
Look, I can’t top that, and I’m not going to even try. The blurb is wholly accurate. Anton LaVey’s assessment (and the fact that the leader of the Church of Satan endorses the book also attests to its literary merit) is spot on: this is a tender, tender piece of literature. Although We Who Are Not as Others was withdrawn only a month after its initial 1976 publication, it was fortunately reprinted in 2000 by Juno books, and is still available.
“[…] only one anus between them”–you must admire Mannix’s attention to detail. Good stuff.